I need your help. I do have a problem: every week on Saturday I send close to 20.000 email alerts via the UN Job List. As you can imagine that's a lot of emails and to get them all out safely is a tough job.
Background: What is the problem?
Over the past years I had several issues with these alerts: for one, I got a lot of recipients that don't sign-out of their alerts ever. This means that my server resources are wasted. What it also means is, that if people e.g. leave their job in the UN, their email is no longer valid and I have to fight with bouncing emails (i.e. emails that return as undeliverable). That's a problem for me, since this makes me look like a spammer. And I don't want to look like a spammer at all.
What's worse is, that some people - instead of signing out of my alert via the link that is in every email - rather seem to click on their "This is email is Spam" button in their email system. This is an even bigger problem for me (and everyone who WANTS to get my email - since Gmail and others look at the mail and think it is Spam). Also, this method does not let me know you don't actually want the email any longer and so I send the message but since it is marked as spam, it will never reach the inbox and is a waste of resources.
What I have done so far to solve the issue:
In order to address the issue in the past I have required emails to be re-confirmed: I know it is annoying to re-validate the email alert every year but it helps me make sure that people really like and want my email alerts. Finding the right trade-off between annoying people with too frequent re-confirmations on the one hand yet having a short enough period to make this method effective is tricky. I have also encouraged people to sign-out of their alerts if they don't need them any longer.
The problem is: so far this has not really worked. I got more reports lately that my alerts are classified as spam emails.
What can I do in future?
Honestly, I'm a bit lost in terms of what can be done. I created a poll (see above) and I'm looking for help! Can you tell me what could be done? Can you tell me if you have an idea on how to tackle the issue?
Here is my thinking behind the different options:
- Write a big blog post that everyone knows how to sign-out properly
I have the least hopes that this would work. The people that cause the issue are unlikely to read any blog post / forum post.
- Allow one(1) e-mail alert only
The idea here is, to limit the damage. If everybody is only allowed one email alert, any wrong reporting by one individual can't do too much harm. I don't really like this idea.
- Make the UN Job List alert re-confirmation period shorter (6 Months)
As outlined above, this aims at making sure that only people who really want the alert are getting the alert. The downside is that people might miss the reconfirmation step. I have had people in the past complain to me why I stopped sending my alerts...
- Setup a separate (paid) e-mail alert (see my post)
The idea behind this option is to setup a separate email alert for those who really want the alert. If you have to pay e.g. 5 USD a year to get the alert, you are unlikely to just click "spam" but more likely to stop the subscription in order to stop the payments. Once somebody cancels a subscription it is very easy to stop sending the alert. The downside is, that this would add a paid element to this site which I wanted to avoid. It is also unfair to my users: I have no problems charging a senior D2 even 200 USD / year for my service, but I wouldn't want to charge anybody from a developing country in pursuit of their dreams.
- Do something else (please describe in the below)
Sorry for the wall of text. But I really need your help here. Please let me know what you think would work best. And if you have further ideas, please share them! Thanks so much!That's obvious - please let me know.
tl;dr: People clicking on the SPAM button in their email instead of signing out of the email alert are a problem. I want ideas on how to tackle the problem. Thanks!